One of the best ways to get laws changed in the United States is by using the power of numbers. Organizations such as the Poker Players Alliance have the ability to pool together masses of like-minded individuals for the purpose of lobbying for their cause. A big realization needs to be made by online poker players in the U.S. of their potential to shape politics through means such as the PPA.
A great venue to flex this power would be in the upcoming Presidential election. Rich Muny, from the PPA, has attempted to grade the Presidential candidates on their positions regarding issues of concern for members of the Poker Players Alliance.
John McCain has a history of voting against any sort of legalization of sports gambling. For that, Muny has given McCain a D. On a neutral note, this Republican candidate does not have very strong views regarding online gambling or poker per se. In fact, when the pro-UIGEA statement was being circulated by anti-gambling proponents, McCain did not sign.
The Democratic Presidential candidate, Barack Obama, has announced himself as a poker player and has voiced support for a legislative study on online poker and other types of online gambling. Muny graded Obama a C. The main reason for this grade is due to Obama’s votes against gambling initiatives while in the Illois Senate.
Naturally, the Libertarian candidate was graded an A+. It is a consistent view of Libertarians that citizens should have the freedom to determine their own choices. Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate, is strongly in favor of the legalization of online gambling and the right for U.S. citizens to play online poker.
Chuck Baldwin is the the Constitutional Party’s Presidential candidate. Pastor of the Crossroads Baptist Church, Baldwin is completely opposed to not only online gambling but all forms of gambling as well. Baldwin and his Party see gambling as immoral and hurtful to family values. His strong views opposing all forms of gambling have earned Chuck Baldwin an F.
Whatever the case, if online poker players are looking for change they’ll need to make their presence felt in the upcoming election. Political pressure is key.